Thank you to everyone that joined us on November 15, 2017 for the webinar How to Choose Your Gym: 5 Questions You NEED to Ask When You Have a Disability. Attendees came away with valuable tips on how to take the stress out of finding the right gym when you have a disability.
If you weren’t able to join us on the 15th – no problem! You can watch the webinar at any time. Just click the button below to view a recording of the live webinar.
Also, we had some great questions during the Q&A that I wanted to share with everyone. Here is a recap of the Q&A session.
Q: I have already signed a contract with a gym, and I do like it, but now that I’ve taken this webinar I am realizing that there are some things that should have been red flags. I’ve always just accepted these limitations in the place meeting my needs, but now that I know better what can I do to address the concerns at my current gym? In other words, how do I advocate for my needs in a gym that I already belong to?
A: [Jennifer Hobbs] That’s a great question. So, I think you’re right, there’s one thing about having the information and knowing the questions to ask and actually being able to advocate for yourself in the gym. As I had actually just touched on, don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you’re not getting the responses you want one thing I would say first take a look at who are you talking to. Maybe you’re not talking to the right person. Maybe you need to talk to a manager. If you’re still not getting the information or getting the response that you want, I always recommend taking an approach of educating the staff. Give them your thoughts. Tell them a little bit about inclusive fitness, how they might be able to improve their accessibility and inclusion at their facilities. If you’d like, volunteer to help them and be your own advocate to help them get that knowledge.
Q: I can’t seem to find a gym in my area that’s really inclusive. Am I really just looking for a needle in a haystack?
A: [Jennifer Hobbs] It can probably feel like that sometimes. What I have found is a lot of it does depend on where you are. I think here in the United States, what I’d like to term “the inclusion revolution” in the health and fitness industry, is just starting to build momentum. Inclusion and accessibility is not something that most gyms have high on
their priority list. I think that certain places, like Great Britain and Australia, have made a lot of progress and are way ahead of the United States in terms of offering things like training to fitness professionals and raising awareness about the importance of inclusive
fitness. So, I can see where you’d think it would kind of be a needle in the haystack and that’s really where the advocacy has to come in. More than likely, if you are in the United States, if you’re going to a gym, that’s probably not going to be something that is in the forefront of their business model. So, as long as they are willing to work with you, then advocate for yourself and you can probably make a difference. Hopefully, with more training like this and starting to get the word out more about the inclusive fitness movement here in the United States, we are going to start to see a change. We’re going to see more facilities being more accessible and being more inclusive of individuals with disabilities.
What are your questions and comments? Let’s continue the conversation – share your thoughts in the Comments section.